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Archive Report: Allied Forces

Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.
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303 Squadron Crest
303 Squadron Spitfire IIa P8039 RF-R P/O. Mieczyslaw Waszkiewicz

Operation: Circus 8

Date: 16th April 1941(Wednesday)

Unit: No. 303 Squadron (Polish)

Type: Spitfire IIa

Serial: P8039 ("Hereward The Wake II - Presented by the Isle of Ely)

Code: RF-R

Base: RAF Northolt, Middlesex

Location: English Channel, near Dungeness, Kent

Pilot: P/O. Mieczyslaw Waszkiewicz P-0895 PAF Age 24. Missing


Providing close cover to bombers on a raid to Berck-sur-Mer engaged Bf109’s of JG53 over the Channel and shot down.

Above left: P/O. Mieczyslaw Waszkiewicz in light overalls also right. (courtesy Zbigniew Charytoniuk and Franciszek Kornicki collection via Peter Sikora)

A memorial had been placed to him and another 303 squadron pilot, P/O. Bogusław Mierzwa, also lost this day in the Dungeness area. Another Polish pilot,from 303 Squadron was also hit, but P/O. Wiktor Stanisław Strzembosz (1) flying Spitfire IIa Z3090 survived, wounded. His aircraft was damaged but later repaired.

Sadly, in January 2015 we have been informed that the memorial placed, is in a very bad state of repair - efforts are underway to build a similar memorial in a more visible area. Funds are of course needed for this - we would appreciate your help with these efforts. Aircrew Remembered have provided a donation.

(1) Wictor Stanisław Strzembosz was killed just 3 months later on the 8th July 1941 in Spitfire IIb P8669 RF-M over Dunkirk, France. Buried at Merville.

Above: left - Bogusław Mierzwaright, right - Wictor Stanisław Strzembosz

Burial details:

P/O. Mieczyslaw Waszkiewicz has no known grave and is commemorated on both the Northolt Memorial and the Memorial for missing Airman in Warsaw, Poland. Born on 27th March 1917. Joined 307 Squadron 18 September 1940 - moved to 32 Squadron 9th October 1940 finally to 303 Squadron 26 March 1941.

Above: A new plaque erected in April 2021

303 Squadron members in front of Spitfire P8039 (see credits)

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilt with thanks to Peter Sikora, Dungeness UK, Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Jerzy Bogdan Cynk - 'The Polish Airforce At War' Vol's 1 and 2, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses' Vol. 1-3. Also thanks to Nigel Denchfield who contacted us in December 2017. A small exhibition is being planned in March, Cambridgeshire on this aircraft.

Support the efforts from our friends direct at Dungeness UK - send as much or as little as you are able.

KTY Page updated with new plaque image 26-03-2023

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Sources used by us in compiling Archive Reports include: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vols. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Tom Kracker - Kracker Luftwaffe Archives, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Stan D. Bishop, John A. Hey MBE, Gerrie Franken and Maco Cillessen - Losses of the US 8th and 9th Air Forces, Vols 1-6, Dr. Theo E.W. Boiton - Nachtjagd Combat Archives, Vols 1-13. Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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Last Modified: 26 March 2023, 15:57

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